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A New Tick-Borne Infection Causes Illness

Scientists have identified a previously unrecognized tick-borne infection caused by bacteria in the same category as those that cause Lyme disease.

Scientists have found a new type of infection carried by the same ticks that spread Lyme disease. It is due to related bacteria called Borrelia miyamotoi and can cause a high fever, chills, severe headaches and blood abnormalities.

Doctors are recommending that anyone in Lyme-endemic territory who spikes an unexplained summertime fever should be tested for Borrelia miyamotoi.

Other Tick-Borne Infections

There are now so many different types of diseases that can be transmitted by ticks that doctors should probably be alert for the possibility of a tick-borne disease even in areas that are not considered high-risk for Lyme disease. Many people who have suffered from diseases transmitted by ticks, including anaplasmosis and babesiosis, have had difficulties getting a proper diagnosis (and therefore proper treatment) because physicians don’t always consider the possibility.

To learn more about tick-borne infections, you may wish to listen to our interviews with veterinarian Ed Breitschwerdt (DVM). He has discussed the mysteries of Bartonella in this show, together with rheumatologist Robert Mozayeni (MD).

Tick bites can also make people allergic to mammalian meat, resulting in potentially fatal reactions to eating beef, lamb or pork. You can learn about alpha-gal allergy in this interview with immunologist Thomas Platts-Mills (MD).

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
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